Battle of Alnwick
The political situation in England was far from settled during the reign of William the Conqueror , with internal revolts on the one side, and Scottish attacks over the very fluid border on the other. This worsened when William Rufus came to the throne in 1087: a tussle with his brother Robert Curthose over who was to rule England and Normandy lasted until 1091, and made England a tempting target for Scotland’s King Malcolm III. Malcolm invaded first in 1091, and was driven back by William Rufus himself at the head of a large army. He tried again in 1093, pillaging Northumberland and besieging the great castle at Alnwick.
Robert de Mowbray, pardoned after in 1088 siding with Robert against William Rufus, was governor of nearby Bamburgh Castle . Though Malcolm’s army was vast, de Mowbray led a daring raid by a small party of knights directly against Malcolm and his entourage well beyond the castle walls. Suggestions of treachery linger over the fight, but it ended with Malcolm killed by a lance, and his son Edward mortally wounded. Leaderless, the Scots army headed back north.
For Scotland calamity piled on calamity: Queen Margaret, Malcolm’s widow, died within days of learning of the death of her husband and son; and Malcolm’s younger sons were soon at war with his brother over the succession.
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